Man with Incurable Lung Cancer, Turned Down Chemo and Outlived All His Doctors

Stamatis Moraitis
Stamatis Moraitis tending his vineyard and olive grove on Ikaria.Andrea Frazzetta/LUZphoto for The New York Times

'In 1943, Stamatis Moraitis, a Greek war veteran from Ikaria, Greece came to the USA for a combat-related injury to his arm. He wound up falling in love, marrying a Greek-American woman, and having three lovely children. He bought his very own Leave it to Beaver three-bedroom house with his 1951 Chevrolet parked in the driveway.

 Stamatis was living the American Dream. It all seemed Hollywood perfect until 1976.  That’s when Stamatis began experiencing shortness of breath upon exertion – for example, when working or climbing stairs. Eventually, he consulted a doctor who diagnosed him with terminal lung cancer and gave him only months to live. Predictably the doctor urged him to start chemotherapy immediately as it was his only hope.'


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